Toll Free at Last!

Governor George Allen has announced a $239 million plan to fund the building of the remaining sections of state Route 288. The toll-free Route 288 extension will link an existing portion of the highway at the Powhite Parkway in western Chesterfield County with Interstate 64 in eastern Goochland. Along with Interstate 295, Route 288 will complete a circular route around Richmond. Details of the project are as follows:

· A $93 million, four-lane extension from the Powhite to Midlothian Turnpike would begin in early 1999. The phase would include a cloverleaf interchange at Powhite and preliminary interchanges at Lucks Lane, a planned segment of Woolridge Road and Midlothian.

· A $68 million, two-lane segment from Midlothian to Patterson Avenue would begin by 2001. This phase would include bridges over Robious Road and the James River, as well as a preliminary interchange at Patterson.

· A $14 million, two-lane segment from Patterson to West Creek Parkway would begin by 2000. A full interchange at West Creek is planned.

· A $15 million, two-lane segment from West Creek to U.S. 250 (Broad Street Road) is under construction and scheduled for completion this September.

· A $49 million, four-lane segment from U.S. 250 to I-64 is planned. No schedule for that phase has been set because some federal funding is expected.